Fashion

The Met’s ‘Manus x Machina’ Traces Fashion’s Relationship with Technology

Fashion

The Met’s ‘Manus x Machina’ Traces Fashion’s Relationship with Technology

Iris Van Herpen (SS '10 Haute Couture)
Issey Miyake (SS '94)
Hussein Chalayan (AW '11)
Iris van Herpen (SS '12 Haute Couture)
Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel (AW '05 Haute Couture)
Iris van Herpen (AW '13 Haute Couture)
Raf Simons for Dior (SS '15 Haute Couture)
Christopher Kane (SS '14)
Yves Saint Laurent (AW '69 Haute Couture)
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All eyes were on the Met Gala last night, as Anna Wintour’s carefully chosen assembly of designers, celebrities and, this year, tech influencers all gathered to celebrate the Metropolitan Museum’s new exhibit, Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology. Though media’s fixation may have been on Madonna’s bare ass or an appearance from 2012 Lady Gaga wearing custom Versace, the flashy frenzy was entertained, as always, to raise awareness and funds for New York’s prized museum.

This year’s 170-piece spectacle at the Costume Institute traces fashion’s complex relationship with technology throughout history, as Head Curator Andrew Bolton developed a narrative to showcase the progression from hand-made to machine-made garments. Ranging from an 1870 hand-crocheted wedding dress to an Iris van Herpen 3D-printed top, the concept is a refreshing avoidance of more recent wearable-tech trends.

Bolton’s pieced together a striking juxtaposition between prêt-à-porter and haute couture, recruiting iconic names like Karl Lagerfeld, Hussein Chalayan, Christopher Kane, Nicolas Ghesquière and Issey Miyake to tell the story of man versus machine—a promising follow-up to last summer’s record-breaking China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition. Check out a preview, above, ahead of the Met’s official public opening on Thursday, May 5.